Literature Review

The possible element I wanted to research for this semester is the effects social media and the Internet has on the beauty and cosmetic world and therefore on the consumers. After looking for articles I traveled away from just the beauty and cosmetic world and included it under a bigger umbrella of just women’s health and beauty. I have still not decided which exact angle I want to go but for now I want to see how social media effects the trends and images women have when it comes to health and beauty. I also want to see how that then affects their purchasing. I think the topics I can explore are of purchasing of clothing, beauty or health related products (diet pills, diet plans, workout equipment ect). I think even looking at how now younger girls as well as older are looking at body image and the idea of being “perfect” because of the portrayal online.

1: This article talks about a surveys done specifically about purchasing cosmetic and health related products and how the key finding was the impact of social media and blogs in purchasing. It explained that, “42 percent of heavy buyers say that social media is very important in making their purchasing decisions. Cosmetic blogs (29%) and YouTube (23%) were the most popular resources among these involved buyers”. This was a number that years ago would not have existed and now has evolved the marketing some of these companies are making explained in the article. They also talk about wholesale retailers and not only being influenced by people online to purchase something but then actually purchasing it online just goes hand and hand now which I never thought to think about.

  1. This paper is really what got my attention when starting to research and find a different angle to go. This paper is goes into research on the part social media and the Internet play with creating these images and thoughts women now have today. It is about the constant pushing and theme most people can see in any ad or health/beauty image the Internet promotes. It is altering the way people think is normal and turning into something it should not. I like how this paper compares the marketing strategies and views from old to new, which was different from the other articles. Its nice to see comparing to something old because the new marketing ways and images are becoming the norm.

3. This paper focuses on the direct affect the “thin body” image mass media pushes on women can become a direct result of eating disorders and other harmful physical damage to oneself. While this article does not specifically focus on digital media, it was a study done on 77 women directly thinking their own definition of body image to mass media and culture. They talk a lot of how this starts at a very young age and in this case dealing with social media even younger. Children are exposed at extremely earlier ages, whether it is seeing an image on TV or on a website. This article specifically links the blur between media and reality. They provide explanation of how as a society we have gotten to this point and how these images are having real life affects on body image.,%20Hyde,%20Media%20Meta%20(PB,%202008).pdf


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